Pictures: Lunch Time Not Often Seen On Madison Isthmus

I just happened to be outside when I heard the ruckus.  Just a few yards away our neighborhood cooper hawk had swooped into a bird feeder, clanking it loudly as it grabbed lunch.    I must admit I love this large bird of prey, and feel that I am its official photographer for the number of times I have followed it around this area over the past months while snapping pictures.  I always feel humbled to be near this amazing creature.  I sense that he knows I am not threatening.  The little birds that he has for lunch, however,  can not feel the same about him.

Today the hawk allowed me rather close access for a scene that was not as gory as I would have imaged.  A few feathers were removed and then lunch was consumed, bones and all, in a few large bites.  I was standing only a few feet away, and was quite captivated by the whole scene.

In the first picture you can see lunch underneath his feet.


I am walking closer and am amazed he did not fly away or move to a more private area for the actual consuming of the small bird.

For Christmas this year I think Santa is bringing an even sweeter lense for the camera.  I hope that this cooper hawk is ready for a true close-up in 2011!